June is almost here and for PlayStation fans, that means Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart is closer to release on PS5. In anticipation of Insomniac’s continuation of the fan-beloved series, Sony hosted a State of Play event on April 29 that gave fans the most in-depth look into the game yet.
After beginning the State of Play with a look at the upcoming Subnautica: Below Zero and announcing an impending Among Us release on the PS4 and PlayStation 5, Sony and Insomniac devoted the rest of the time to Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart.
The tandem wasted no time in starting the event with a visual spectacle. Within the first few moments, we see Rivet and Clank, then suddenly a massive robot ripping off the wall in front of them before attempting to steal Clank while Rivet grabs her hammer and goes after him.
Just as Rivet is about to smash her way to Clank’s rescue, Marcus Smith, Creative Director on Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart at Insomniac takes over and begins to narrate over a mix of cinematics and gameplay.
From the game’s logo, we pan down to find Ratchet, picking himself back up after being thrown across dimensions into one where Dr. Nefarious has succeeded in his plot for domination and is now Emperor Nefarious. As Ratchet explores the world, we’re treated to our first full look at Nefarious City, a full urban sprawl that feels incredibly realized, and it looks stunning.
We also start to discover some new story beats. For example, Ratchet acquires a dash and wall-running ability after visiting a new character called Phantom. There’s also a new vendor in Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart, Ms. Zurkon, who hints at a larger rebellion fighting to end Emperor Nefarious’ tyrannical rule. Ratchet re-confirms the existence of two Dr. Nefariouses as he begins to find out more about where he’s landed in time and space.
Before he can get to them, Ratchet sees Rivet and Clank on the run from Emperor Nefarious’ forces. When they jump in a ship, he rushes to find a way off-planet.
Ratchet’s exploration also shows off other small changes long-time fans of the series will note. For example, Raritanium has once again been redesigned and looks more akin to a box of bolts than ever before.
While showing off Ratchet’s new methods of traversal, Smith said that “one of the focal points in gameplay for Rift Apart is increased mobility. This focus on mobility allows players to chain moves together, to create exhilarating combos.”
The gameplay shown also seems to have a heightened sense of verticality than previously seen in other Ratchet & Clank games.
From there, the event moved onto the game’s combat, and the variety of new weapons players will be able to use. Some old favorites return, but there are, of course, plenty of new out-of-this-world weapons for Ratchet to take advantage of, like the new Shatterbomb.
Smith went on to explain how dashing allows players to evade attacks either by dodging outright or dashing through them.
We also got another look at dimensional tears within the world of Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart and how Ratchet will be able to use his rift tether to make a quick escape or get the jump on his enemies. Later in the demo, it is shown that Rivet also uses a rift tether.
As combat continued, Smith explained how the Dualsense controller on PS5 will be utilized, both with the haptic feedback features and adaptive triggers. Different weapons will fire differently and will require different inputs from the trigger, such as the difference between a full press and a half-press to determine the rate or strength at which you fire. The haptic feedback from the controller will allow players to really feel the impact of every shot.
The demo then continued to what appeared to be a mini-boss fight with a large enemy encounter, as Ratchet used all of the new mobility tools at his disposal to avoid a barrage of attacks thrown his way.
Suddenly, before the fight is done, Ratchet and his enemy are sucked into another dimension, and we see how quickly they can jump between entire worlds, loading them in seconds, by way of the PS5’s SSD.
The demo then shifts to Rivet and Clank, and we see our first lengthy amount of gameplay with Rivet and her hammer at the helm. Smith said here that Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart features alternate dimension versions of classic planets and locations from previous games within the Ratchet & Clank series.
More than just feeling the impact of each shot, haptic feedback within the Dualsense will also be used to send direct information to players with specific vibrations indicating an enemy’s status, though it only seems to work with a new weapon called the Topiary Sprinkler currently.
We then get a closer look at one of the pocket dimensions that can be explored throughout the story of Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart. Rivet and Clank go for a ride on a “speetle” to help them get around faster, and this is another case where we see the speed of the SSD as Rivet and Clank fly straight through from one world into another entirely different one.
While continuing to follow Rivet and Clank as they attempt to save Rivet’s friends, we get a nice extended look at the combat and the gunplay for Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart. From there, the demo ends and Smith said there will be multiple modes and features to be found within Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart such as battle arenas, Clank puzzles, large open areas to explore, aerial combat, armor to obtain, and collectibles to gather like gold bolts.
Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart will also include a bevy of accessibility features, though more information on those will be shared at a later date. Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart omni-wrench smashes its way to PS5 consoles everywhere on June 11, 2021.